Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Scale is NOT My Friend (This Week)

Conversation at Work 

Me: “I weighed 16 pounds less on my ride last Saturday than I did the last time I rode that course.” 
Coworker: “How do you know that?”
Me: “I track my weight and I looked up my weight based on my Garmin date for the last ride.”
Coworker: “I used to think you were crazy and dedicated…now I just think you are crazy!”
Not Crazy!

There's nothing crazy about tracking stuff! Like Tony Horton says "How do you know what to do, if you don't know what you did?"


I’m not crazy…well, not normally…yesterday I felt a little crazy…thanks to my stupid scale!

Last Thursday I weighed in at 140, my lowest weight in one… maybe two decades. This was a momentous occasion. The next day I weighed myself again and the number on the scale was down another two. I was elated! Then the kids came home and we celebrated Independence Day for the entire weekend. Actually, I didn't eat that bad and I also continued with my training.

Hardly a fat laden unhealthy meal

In fact, on Friday, I rode the trainer for 2-1/2 hours. Yes, I snacked a bit during the day, but our slow cooker carnitas with jicama slaw and black beans was hardly a diet buster. The next day, I got up and had non-fat plain Greek yogurt with fresh blue berries. That meal was followed by a 17 mile ride in the hills. Yes, we had Lockeford sausage for lunch/dinner…and taro chips and popcorn as a snack…but still it was not that bad and I didn’t stuff myself…I even skipped ice cream later in the evening.

Ok, maybe a little unhealthy, but oh so good!
Sunday after church I had two beef tacos (I only had coffee and a banana before church). The beef was grilled and served on top of two small, grilled corn tortillas (I only ate one tortilla on each taco) and some chips and salsa (there were still chips left in the basket when we left). I came home and went on a 10 mile run. Later in the afternoon, HS and I had left over sausage and kale salad and finished up with a bit of ice cream.

Oops…I forgot to mention the wine…and the slice of pizza I had when we walked down to David’s to see what the family was up to…and the coconut macaroons that always end up in the shopping cart when Lindsey is in town. But other than that, this was pretty close to a typical weekend for me. Yes, I indulged a bit, but I also do longer, harder workouts than during the week. 

Wednesday morning my scale read 144. Time to talk myself down off the ledge!

What I Know

There are a couple of givens that I know and understand, yet have a hard time applying to myself when I am having a freakout moment.

#1 – My weight always goes up a few pounds (2-3) following a long run.
#2 – My weight always goes up a few pounds when Aunt Flo is in town.
#3 – My weight always goes up a few pounds when I indulge a little too much on the weekend.

This weekend was the perfect storm…the trifecta of weight gain. I knew before I even stepped on the scale that it was going to be up. I had prepared for it to be up. I just didn’t expect it to be up that much.

Me: “Ugh…I weighed 144 today…I know it’s just water weight from the run and my period.” 
HS: “Probably" 
Me: “Probably? PROBABLY?!?! What do you mean “probably”? There’s no PROBABLY!!!!”

Probably is not the correct answer…”I’m sure it is” would have been way better ;-)

Weight Gain After a Hard Workout

A five mile run doesn’t affect the scale much…a ten mile run will ALWAYS affect my scale. I know this. I have proven this to myself time and time again. Yet every time it happens it makes me a little crazy.
"A person's scale mass is a combination of muscle, fat, bone, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, blood, lymph, intestinal gas, urine, and the air that we carry in our lungs. Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15 percent." Intense workouts cause variability on the scale due to factors like hydration status, inflammation from muscle damage repair (we call this delayed onset muscle soreness), even the amount of intestinal by-product or urine and blood volume.” Shape Magazine
I guess the good news is that a 15% shift as described above would be a 20+ gain, so I guess the few extra pounds on my scale aren’t that bad.

Weight Gain During Aunt Flo’s Visit

Some people gain weight before, I seem to gain it during.
“Two types of temporary weight gain occur during PMS: bloating and water retention. The hormonal changes in your body cause your flesh to retain more water than average. Even if you haven't consumed extra calories or added fat to your body, you may weigh a few more pounds than normal.” LIVESTRONG

…”a few pounds more than normal”…comforting words. Thankfully there is light at the end of the tunnel and in a couple of days, the scale should be my friend again…

“As the days go on, hunger and cravings dissipate; you lose the bloat (and any excess pounds). In fact, you're at the lowest weight of the month right after you stop bleeding. Enjoy it while you can!” Self

Stay the Course

I am not going to let this hiccup derail my plan. Regardless of what the scale says, I am continuing with my nutrition plan and my diet this week is the same as it was last week and the week before that…eventually things will get back to normal.